Prof. Dr. med. Bastian Opitz
Principal Investigator
Tel: +49 (0)30 450 553 501
Email: bastian.opitz(at)
Bastian Opitz finished his medical studies at the Charité, Berlin, and the Galway University, Ireland, in 2002. Between 1999 and 2001, he conducted his MD research thesis in the laboratory of Prof. Ralf Schumann, where he investigated the function of Toll-like receptors. In 2003, he became a Postdoc at the Department of Internal Medicine/Infectious Diseases and Pulmonary Medicine, Charité, Berlin. During his postdoctoral training, Bastian focused his research on the role of cytosolic pattern recognition receptors in antimicrobial innate immune responses. Subsequently, he joined the laboratory of Prof. Craig Roy at the Yale University School of Medicine as a visiting scientist in 2008, where he examined cell-autonomous defense mechanisms against Legionella pneumophila. Bastian finished his residency in medical microbiology at the Institute of Microbiology and Hygiene, Charité, Berlin in 2015. Since 2006, he is head of a research group focusing on lung infections and immunity.
Dr. rer. nat. Catherine Chaput (PhD)
Postdoctoral Researcher,
Junior Principal Investigator in the SFB-TR84
Tel: +49 (0)30 450 553 287
Email: catherine.chaput(at)

Catherine studied biotechnology engineering and obtained a Master of fundamental Microbiology Pasteur Institute – Paris 7 University. From 2002-2006, she did her PhD thesis on the human gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori in Pasteur Institute. Her PhD work consisted on understanding the peptidoglycan metabolism of the bacterium and the consequences in term of immune detection and new antibiotic targets. She showed that a bacterium possessing a type IV secretion system can deliver peptidoglycan fragment in the host cytosol, which leads to the recognition by NOD1 and consequent immune response. In 2006, she joined Max-Planck Institute for Infection Biology for a post-doctoral experience on neutrophils and potential antimicrobial peptides with a particular focus on histones. In 2012, Catherine started in Bastian Opitz´s laboratory to investigate the host-pathogen interactions in the lung.
Dr. rer. nat. Juliane Lippmann (PhD)
Postdoctoral Researcher
Tel: +49 (0)30 450 553 287
Email: juliane.lippmann(at)

Juliane studied Biology at the Humboldt University of Berlin. She did her Master thesis with Prof. Dr. Schönrich at the Institute of Virology at the Charité where she studied immune evasion strategies of Herpes simplex virus in Dendritic cells. From 2006-2010, she performed her PhD in the framework of the International Max Planck Research School of Infectious Diseases and Immunology (IMPRS-IDI) under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Opitz. She was interested in the role of type I IFNs in Legionella pneumophila infection. For her postdoctoral training, she joined Dr. Enninga´s group at the Pasteur Institute in Paris in 2010, where she applied high-throughput fluorescent-based approaches and microfluidics to study the impact of bacterial localizations on host immune response signatures. In August 2015, she rejoined the Opitz Lab where she wants to apply her knowledge to new projects in the lab.
Laura Maschirow,
PhD Student of the IMPRS –
Infectious Diseases and Immunology

Tel: +49 (0)30 450 553 120
Email: laura.maschirow(at)

Laura studied Nutrition Science at the University of Potsdam. In her Bachelor´s thesis she investigated macrophage activation by non-pathogenic intestinal bacteria under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Blaut at the German Institute for Human Nutrition, Potsdam. In 2012 she participated in the RISE-program at the Charles-Sturt-University, Australia, studying oxidative stress during pre-diabetes. In September 2014 she started her Master´s thesis at the Department of Gastroenterology at the Charité, Berlin, where she established new immunohistochemical/-fluorescent techniques for the identification of intestinal macrophages in patients with Crohn´s disease and ulcerative colitis. Since September 2015 she is doing her PhD in the framework of the IMPRS-IDI in the group of Prof. Dr. Opitz, where she will apply her knowledge on the innate immune system at mucosal sites.
Sandra Prepens, Dipl.-Biol.
Lab manager
Tel: +49 (0)30 450 553 287
Sandra studied Biology at the Technical University of Braunschweig and the Humboldt University of Berlin. For her diploma thesis she joined the lab of Dr. Ehlers at Robert Koch-Institut, where she established a bigenic PCR approach to detect and characterize herpes virus in primates by using locked nucleic acids. In 2011 she supported the work of Dr. Kruglov in the group of Prof. Dr. Nedospasov at Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum in Berlin as technical assistant studying the role of soluble Ltα produced by ILC in intestinal homeostasis. Since December 2015 Sandra is member of the group of Prof. Opitz, where she will manage lab-related issues and give technical support for ongoing research.
Dr. Oliver Heinz Robak
PhD Student associated with IMPRS –
Infectious Diseases and Immunology
Tel: +49 (0)30 450 553 287
Email: oliver.robak(at)

Dr. Oliver Robak was a resident at the Dept. of Internal Medicine, Intensive Care Unit, Medical University of Vienna. His main interests in research are pneumonia, mechanical ventilation, sepsis, and adipokines. As resident, his clinical projects included prevention of ventilator-associated pneumonia, septic cardiomyopathy, and alteration of immune response in graft-versus-host disease patients via adiponectin. He has scientific experience in the field of resuscitation (Supervisor: F. Sterz), sepsis research (Supervisor: G. Schabbauer), and murine pneumonia models (Supervisor: S. Knapp). Motivated by his clinical work, he is taking great interest in the immune response to infections of the lung and set out on a research fellowship in the lab of Prof. Opitz in May 2012.
Juan Sebastian Ruiz-Moreno,
PhD Student of the GRK1673 –
Indo German Research Training Group
„Functional Molecular Infection Epidemiology“
Tel: +49 (0)30 450 553 120
Email: sebastian.ruiz-moreno(at)

After completing his Bachelors training in Microbiology at Los Andes University in Bogotá, Juan started his Master studies in Molecular Biosciences at the University of Heidelberg. In the research group of Prof. Rösl and Dr. Rincón-Orozco, Juan studied the influence of Galectin-7 expression on the tumorigenic potential of HPV-16 and HPV-18 positive cell lines. In January 2014 he started his PhD in the frame of the Indo-German Research Training Group for „Functional Molecular Infection Epidemiology” under the supervision of Prof. Opitz. He investigates the importance of the STING-cGAS pathway in response to Legionella pneumophila or S. pneumoniae infection and assesses the effect of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the STING-encoding gene in human PBMCs upon challenge with different stimulants such as L. pneumophila, nucleic acids, and cyclic dinucleotides.
Markus Holstein
MD Student
Tel: +49 (0)30 450 553 20
Markus Holstein is an MD. He studies lung infections with carbapenemase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae.


Dr. rer nat. Elena Kostadinova (PhD)
Dr. rer. nat. Jan Naujoks (PhD)
Dr. rer. nat. Julia Eitel (PhD)
Dr. med. Phillip Sasu
Dr. rer. nat. Werner Hallatschek (PhD)
Dr. rer. nat. Uwe Koppe (PhD)
Dr. med. Florence Pache
Dr. rer. medic. Karolin Meixenberger
Dr. rer. nat Anne Rabes (PhD)
Dr. rer. nat. Claudia van Laak (PhD)
Dr. med. Vincent van Laak
Dr. med. vet. Maya Vinzing